Crank drag is killing me!

Bill B

New Member
I have an iZip Vibe Plus that I bought three weeks ago. Here's my problem: The crank drag is so great that riding the bike on level ground without pedal assist feels like I'm riding a 55 pound bike uphill! I've seen other threads where folks who complain of crank drag are told that it's just the weight of the bike or the fatter tires, but I really do believe it's the drag of the motor. I feel this drag when I have the assist set to zero (or turned off). I feel it when I am at level 1 and try and pedal faster than about 12mph, or level 2 and pedal faster than 16mph. Suddenly, I'm just working and working.

The reason this is such a a problem is that when I ride in the DC area with mild hills, I need to be at level 2 in order to go 14-15 MPH, and I occasionally use level 3 or 4 for larger hills. At level 2, the range should be 35 miles, but I'm getting more like 20-22 miles. I want to take longer rides, but I can't extend the range by using level 1 because I can't go over 12mph, and i can't turn it off because it's just too much work to pedal the bike.

I've been looking at possibly exchanging the bike for a Pedego Interceptor, which would fit my body size better, and offers a higher capacity battery.

My questions are these:
  • Is the degree of crank drag I'm reporting experienced by others? Do you also keep your bikes in level 2+ in order to bike the speed you want to bike? How do you get any range on the bike?
  • Am I correct that eBikes vary in the amount of pedal drag (though nobody seems to report on this in reviews)? Are there technologies I can look for in the bike specs that would have lower/no crank drag?
  • Would the Pedego Interceptor have less crank drag?
Whew - sorry for the long speech, but I'm hoping someone can help!


Active Member
According to the website, this bike's range is only 16-35 miles. Safe to say 35 miles would be in assist level 1 with a lightweight rider.

I have seen others say the same thing about assist level being directly tied to possible speed attained.

I think you simply want a different bike. Try some other systems out. Pedego has a hub drive, so will feel different...possibly better.


I have only ridden a bbs01 mid drive and i felt it very difficult to pedal without power, best bet would be a bigger battery or a geared hub for easy pedalling and efficiency,like berry said try another bike see how it feels. level 1 is terrible on my system iirc 7mph!
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Well-Known Member
I own a BBS02 kit and I believe it has no drag from the motor. How do I prove it? I took off the chain and spun the crank set and it spins loose and free, with the power off, and also with power on and in PAS 0.

These are 55 pound bikes after all. That weight going uphill may be what you are feeling. Also, that battery in the ezip is only 8.8 AH (420 Watt-Hour). That's relatively low for a 48 volt battery.


Well-Known Member
Have the other obvious potential problems been checked? Dragging brakes , or a misaligned wheel?
Mid drives have no noticeable drag and even direct drive motors are very slight (at least my Falco is)
If other owners of your specific bike complain about it, then maybe there's a problem there. For most, it's the extra weight on top of us getting spoiled by the BOOST, and then feeling VERY WEAK without it. LOL
Ride your bike a % of the time with the assist turned off and you'll quickly get much stronger and lose that boat anchor feeling.
My Haibike middrive is geared very low. It's also hard to pedal much above the assisted speed at a given cadence, but it's the low gearing making it hard, not engine drag. Maybe the same on yours?
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Well-Known Member
According to the website, this bike's range is only 16-35 miles. Safe to say 35 miles would be in assist level 1 with a lightweight rider.


Not so. I max out if not beat stated mileage specs on all 3 of my Ebikes and I"m 235lbs. I am strong and am always peddling and usually in level 1 with a bit in 2. Still, lightweight I'm not.
NO hills here. Flat as a pancake. HUGE difference. :)